Abdullah al-Faisal
Abdullah al-Faisal, born Trevor William Forrest in Jamaica, is U.S.-designated* Islamist propagandist and member of the Islamist propaganda group Authentic Tauheed.* Faisal previously served as the imam of south London’s Brixton mosque, where he reportedly delivered radical speeches for crowds of up to 500 attendants.* Today, he propagandizes for ISIS both in Jamaica and on his website and social media. The U.S. government has accused him of facilitating marriages of couples seeking to move to ISIS-controlled territory.* Faisal is in custody in Jamaica awaiting extradition to the United States on terrorism charges.*
Publish date : 2/16/2019

Faisal was born to Christian parents who worked for the Salvation Army. In 1979 at age 16, he left his native Jamaica for Saudi Arabia, where he converted to Islam. During his eight years in the country, Faisal reportedly earned a degree in Islamic studies.*

In the mid-1990s, Faisal set up Islamic study circles in east London.* Faisal served as the imam of London’s Brixton mosque, which included shoe bomber Richard Reid and convicted 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui among its members.* Faisal claims Reid and Moussaoui both attended the mosque two years after he left and that he never met either one.* Prior to and after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Faisal reportedly encouraged Britons to join terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.* Faisal also reportedly said that the use of chemical weapons on non-believers is permissible.*
Background

    Date of Birth
    September 10, 1963

    Place of birth
    Jamaica

    Place of residence
    Jamaica

    Extremist Use of Social Media
    Facebook, MySpace, PalTalk, Twitter

    Education
    University

    Citizenship
    Jamaican

    Arrested
    2003: Solicitation of murder and incitement of racial hatred; 08/25/17: Extradition warrant to the United States on various terrorism charges

    Custody
    Jamaica

In December 2001, London police arrested Richard Chinyoka on charges of raping and torturing teenage girls. Police found in Chinyoka’s car recordings of Faisal’s lectures calling for the murder of Jews, Hindus, and other so-called nonbelievers.* On February 23, 2003, a U.K. court convicted Faisal of soliciting murder, using threatening and insulting words, and using threatening and insulting recordings under the country’s 1861 “Offences Against the Person Act.”* The court found Faisal guilty of inciting hatred and soliciting murder against an array of religious and ethnic groups as well as nationalities, including Jews, Hindus, and Americans. It was the first trial of a Muslim cleric in the United Kingdom. Faisal’s conviction is the first under the 1861 act without a specific victim in more than 100 years in the United Kingdom.*

Faisal was sentenced to nine years in prison, but Old Bailey Judge Peter Beaumont recommend that he serve at least half that term and then face deportation.*

Faisal argued that his statements had originated from the Quran and had been misconstrued.* Following Faisal’s sentencing, his wife, Zubaida Khan, defended Faisal in an interview with the British Telegraph newspaper. Khan defended her husband’s remarks against Hindus, Jews, and others, telling the Telegraph that Faisal meant it is permitted to attack them during wartime. In what the Telegraph described as a twist of irony, Khan said that she could never work in a tall building after the 9/11 terror attacks.*

Following the U.K. conviction, Faisal served four years in prison. In May 2007, Faisal was deported to Jamaica and placed on an international terrorist watch list. Between 2007 and 2009, Faisal managed to travel by road through Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Tanzania, arriving in Kenya in late December of 2009.* There, Kenyan authorities arrested him and attempted to deport Faisal. The attempt proved both difficult and costly, as South America, the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Gambia, and Nigeria denied Faisal transit visas that would enable him to return to Jamaica.* Meanwhile, the Kenyan deportation attempt resulted in violent, pro-Faisal protests. At least five Faisal supporters were killed in January 2010 as Kenyan police released tear gas and opened fire on the protesters, some of whom had turned violent.* Kenya successfully deported Faisal to Jamaica on January 22, 2010.*

Upon Faisal’s arrival in Jamaica, the Islamic Council of Jamaica banned him from preaching but said he is able to visit any of the country’s 12 mosques. Jamaican police say they will monitor Faisal.*

Faisal has remained active on social media, where he is accused of helping to radicalize several extremists. Faisal is believed to have communicated with Jesse Morton, a U.S. citizen who worked alongside Zachary Chesser to solicit the murder of the writers of the South Park television show.* According to then-U.K. Home Secretary John Reid, Faisal also radicalized Germaine Lindsay, one of the four British suicide bombers who killed 52 people in the July 7, 2005, bombings of the London underground.* In September 2014, Faisal joined Mohammed Mizanur Rahman and other Islamist propagandists in an online news conference on the Paltalk platform, during which he encouraged his followers to join ISIS. Faisal called women captured by ISIS “spoils of war” and condemned those who “slander the mujahideen.”* The U.S. government has also linked Faisal to underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and several terror attacks, including the November 28, 2016, Ohio State University car ramming and stabbing attack, the May 3, 2015, attack at a Draw Mohammed contest in Garland, Texas, and the attempted Times Square bomber in New York City on May 1, 2010.*

Faisal is also a featured cleric on the Islamist website Authentic Tauheed, which maintains a Blogspot blog at www.authentictauheed.com and a Twitter account, @AuthenticTauhid. Online since 2010, the Twitter account has more than 1,000 followers as of December 2017. The account advertises a twice daily lecture by Faisal.* The site has blog posts dating back to 2008. The site also features al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki and jailed British propagandist Omar Bakri Muhammad.* Authentic Tauheed also maintains a Facebook page, which had more than 11,300 followers as of December 2017.* The Authentic Tauheed channel on Paltalk has 1,749 followers as of December 6, 2017.* Authentic Tauheed’s YouTube channel, ATmovement2000, hosts 48 videos mostly featuring Faisal.*

While living in Jamaica, Faisal began communicating online and through text messages with an undercover New York Police Department officer. According to the New York County District Attorney’s Office, Faisal began sending the undercover officer propaganda from an ISIS news agency and offered to help send the officer to the Middle East to support foreign fighters. Faisal also allegedly offered to arrange a marriage with somebody in ISIS for the undercover officer. In early 2017, members of the NYPD intelligence traveled to Raqqa, Syria, and met with an ISIS contact whom Faisal had referred.*

On August 25, 2017, the New York County District Attorney’s Office charged Faisal with five counts of recruiting and providing support to those seeking to commit acts of violence and terrorism in connection with ISIS. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. accused Faisal of using his lectures, website, and videos to incite “untold numbers of people around the world to take up the cause of jihad.”* Jamaican authorities subsequently arrested Faisal per a U.S. extradition warrant.* Two days after Faisal’s arrest, a Facebook group called “Committee for the Defense of Sheikh Abdullah el Faisal on Facebook” formed to call for his release.* By December 2017, the group appeared to have been deleted.*

On December 5, 2017, the U.S Department of the Treasury sanction-designated Faisal as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.* Faisal has been fighting extradition to the United States.*

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